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Dakota Wind Energy LLC, plans to take advantage of South Dakota's wind potential with the formation of the state's first utility-scale community-owned wind project.

The project is located in Roberts, Marshall and Day counties and has the potential of ultimately producing over 750 MW of wind energy spread over 700 square miles of agricultural land.

The Dakota Wind Energy project was originally conceived by South Dakota landowner Gerry Fisher, and National Wind, the project's manager, local landowners and community leaders have capitalized the company. Dakota Wind Energy has formed a members advisory board, which includes nine of the South Dakota landowners/co-founders, including Donald Erickson, Dennis Fagerland, Fisher, Blair Healy, Tim Hofer, Walt Johnson, Bob Metz, Don Ogren and Curt Sampson. Additional landowners and local community members will become owners as the project develops.

"For community-wind projects, such as Dakota Wind Energy, size does matter. Utilities and institutional investors prefer larger community-owned wind projects because they have the local support needed to move smoothly through permitting, site control and power-line siting," says Patrick Pelstring, co-chair of National Wind.

"This increases their likelihood of completion and gives projects such as Dakota Wind Energy, a competitive advantage. Large community wind projects also have the capital available to afford the high costs related to wind developments of any size, including building private transmission lines, which can cost millions of dollars."

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